Universal has announced the release dates for the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey sequels, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed. Despite a challenging collaboration between director Sam Taylor-Johnson and series author E.L. James, the first film weathered a resounding negative critical reaction to become a smash hit at the box office – not exactly a surprise considering the zeal for which the fandom is known. Now those loyal fans of the series can pencil in their calendars. Keeping with the Valentine’s Day targeted release, the second film will hit theaters February 10, 2017 with the third lined up for February 9, 2018.
Here’s the official tweet from the FiftyShades twitter account:
The Fantasy Continues: #FiftyShadesDarker will be released on 2/10/17 and #FiftyShadesFreed on 2/9/18. https://t.co/eEdZQJTQCJ
— Fifty Shades of Grey (@FiftyShades) April 23, 2015
Yesterday, we reported that James’ husband, Niall Leonard, an author an screenwriter in his own right, will pen the script for Fifty Shades Darker. James famously clashed with Johnson (who won’t return to direct the sequels) and screenwriter Kelly Marcel on the first film, and reportedly held up sequel negotiations when she demanded to write the script for the sequel herself. James and the studio reached an amusing compromise by hiring Leonard for the job. This was only the most recent piece of news that confirms James’ complete control over the project, something no doubt diehard fans of the series appreciate, but which also seemingly snuffed out any creative spark Johnson might have brought to Fifty Shades of Grey. We’ll see how the franchise fairs now that James has fully taken the reigns when the first Fifty Shades of Grey sequel hits theaters in 2017.
Until then you can watch the Blu-ray when it arrives on May 8th and keep up to date with all Fifty Shades of Grey news here.